Game Of The Year 2017

Oh boy it's that time of the year again. I just got done writing up how bullshit Middle Earth: Shadow of War was and now it's time to get into the games that are actually not shit. And there's quite a few of them. 2017 was fucking awesome.

Resident Evil 7

Jack Baker, welcoming us into his family for a solid year running. Thanks Jack. We could all use a little help sometimes.

 Because apparently I'm the only one who remembers Resident Evil 7 at the end of the year. I'm not sure why the damn thing is getting passed over or otherwise not mentioned at all, but Capcom was on the fast track to dogshit(Some would say they were already there, and I would agree, personally) and everything was looking really bad for them for a while. They just kept making shitty games and not doing anything about it. Eventually they got around to releasing Resident Evil: Revelations 2 which was an interesting concept, though not unique. It still earned a place in my heart because the game itself had heart, and that makes up for a lot of jank.

Speaking of jank, RE7 put the series back on the map with a cocksure attitude for classic survival horror with a new spin on the almost 20 year old franchise by showing us the series through fresh eyes, letting us creep back down into the feeling of vulnerability and not, you know, punching boulders. ALTHOUGH, I have not played the DLC because by all accounts it's not very good, but the boulder punching does return, apparently.

I have faulted Capcom for a long long. So long I'm actually choosing to talk about them more than the game I'm summarizing my love for right now. But, to cut it short, I'm a scared bitch and can't stand horror, so I thought my chances with this game was limited. But it was just so damn good that I couldn't put it down and fell in love with it. Didn't play it in VR because I don't want to fucking heart attack to death, but by all accounts the "base game" experience was good enough for me. Love ya', RE7. Sorry about your cunt brother, RE6 though.

Persona 5

She uses a revolver and rides a motorcycle and doesn't afraid of anything.

I've never played a Persona game before. Saw most of a let's play of 4 once upon a time and I was sorta way into that, but I just never stumbled into playing a Persona of my own. That all changed with Persona 5 and I was able to get my hands on it and immerse myself in the insanity that is held within.

It was a very fascinating game. The story explores some interesting and exciting concepts, and doesn't shy away from dark subject matter. The soundtrack is pretty fucking sick and kept me hooked the entire way through. Not a bad song on that entire thing. The Persona fusion mechanic kept me capturing Persona wherever I could in hopes of fusing some fucking awesome shit.

And then there's my waifu, Makoto Niijima. Who I can't actually post images of here because it looks like a lot of the porno. And also I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post images of Persona 5 or Atlus will come to my fucking house and murder me.

Ultimately, it's kinda funny actually, it seems like I don't have a lot to say on Persona 5. It's hard to put into words but it's just an overall great game and was a fucking blast to play through. It was my first experience with a Persona game and it was incredible from start to finish.


Still a beautiful game after all this time.
A perfect storm of everything I've ever wanted but didn't quite know I wanted it. Dark Souls, Diablo, Onimusha, Tenchu, all wrapped up into one complete bundle that proves you don't have to reinvent the wheel to have a fucking 100 hour long masterpiece on your hands.

One of the things that made me fall in love with the game was the reliance on native Japanese voice actors alongside an English speaking protagonist. I've always loved seeing things like this and I love the idea that, well, these people don't speak English, that's just the hard truth. So if they would have spoken English it would have ruined the illusion of this fish out of water with the character of William. Likewise him speaking Japanese would have done the same.

I loved the customization abilities in how you not just spec your character, but what abilities to choose, what weapons to focus on, what spirit animal to take with you, etc etc. It gives you enough to do with it what you will so you can create an intensely personalized character, but, oh yeah, that's not even the half of it. It's a LOOT GAME also. So the loot you find can also enhance your character and make their build more than just a loose concept. And if that's not good enough, the fashion in this game is impeccable. AND IF THAT ISN'T ENOUGH, you can, as the children say, "fashion souls it up" because you can change the appearance of one piece of armor to look like that of another, so if you have a really awesome chest piece that looks sick, but it doesn't have the stats you are interested in, you can eventually put that shit on another piece of armor all together to make it look awesome.

Oh yeah, and before I forget, the ending of the game was probably way better than it had any right to be. I know that sounds maybe a little insulting, but you gotta see it for yourself to understand it. It goes from "I bet we fight another fucking boss" to "WHOA THAT SHIT JUST GOT TURNT UP TO 11" and, boy howdy, it really does. I fell in love with this game the very first time I played it and I know anyone else would as well if they just gave it a chance.

Yakuza 0

Family. Against the odds.
I guess you could say Yakuza was a franchise that I had 0 interest in ever playing. Heh. Heuh. Huhhuh. Get it? GET THE JOKE? Well moving on. I had played Yakuza 3 at one point after being told it was the most fucking incredible fighting game to ever exist, and so I was like aw fuck yeah son sign me up. But unfortunately I wasn't in the state of mind to truly appreciate that game and was severely put off by the orphanage section of the story where Kiryu raises several children who live at an orphanage he owns. From what I remember, and this was a while ago, it was a pretty big focus on the story for a while and I never made it past that. So I always had an idea in my head that the franchise was like that as a whole and never had any interest in playing beyond that.

I got Yakuza 0, on the other hand, because I saw the game being played on the internet and people were speaking so highly of it I just knew there had to be something special about this game. So I was bored one day and decided to get it and fucking hell oh boy. It was love at first sight. I could not believe the sheer amount of personality and charm that they crammed into every single pixel in that game. The world, the characters, the story, the side quests, the minigames. You can fucking build your own tiny racing car and spend 30 hours just practicing and getting better equipment. You could spend 30 hours buying and managing real estate, or managing a cabaret club which requires a ton of fucking effort but is super awesome in the end.

I mean, it's so hard to pick one thing in particular about this game that makes it so special. The story was all kinds of incredible as you play through the dual protagonists of Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima. The differing paths these two take as they both get embroiled into some larger scheme that neither of them can see the end of, and as a result get taken on a wild ride that tests their loyalty and commitment to those the closest to them. It's fucking epic. I think about this game from time to time and just, I don't know... appreciate it? Sounds a bit silly, maybe, but the game was just everything I could have ever wanted. I was an instant fan of the Yakuza franchise and I desperately hope the rest of the games are remastered ala Kiwami and Kiwami 2, so I can go back in and play them at their best.

Nier Automata - GOTY

I meeeeeeeeeean...
This game is like the fucking mecca. I can't even put it into words how much I loved this game and how well it resonated with me. Yoko Taro is a goddamn motherfucking genius who managed to really encapsulate why video gaming can be the best medium to tell a story the world has ever seen. In so many other games, in just about every other game, as a matter of fact. Nier: Automata is using the medium of video games to tell a story that only it really can. It utilizes just about every aspect of what it is to really drive home the intense emotional messages within the game.

Now I'll be the first to admit if I actually had to explain what those messages were, I'd be fucking stumped. Because I'm an idiot. But the game had this impact on me. It took the emotional war that rages on inside myself where I'm just fucking unhappy and miserable and it turned that into a video game. I got to acknowledge inner turmoil in an organic way. The way characters speak, their reactions, the way they do things, the soundtrack, the emotional climaxes that are peppered out through the game come together in this creeping resonance that strikes a chord through my entire body.

I've seen this. I've felt this before. This sense of hopelessness and dread. A weariness that drives into the pit of your being, but playable.

It's an emotional story from start to finish. It kept me hanging onto the edge of my seat, and playing further, beyond the endings and seeing how the game changes, and how it keeps going in ways that really only a video game could, was incredible. Yako Taro is a fucking savant. The way the soundtrack changes with the gameplay to create these really interesting versions of songs you've already heard before, the way the ending comes together so that if you're having difficulty, you could ask for help and someone's save file would be deleted as they take the hits for you. Knowing that you have sacrificed, maybe even wasted, the time and effort of another human being, just for your ease of use, only to see their prewritten messages of encouragement cheering you on from what such other side of existence there must be. It's a lot to take in and makes me feel like a pussy bitch sometimes for having cried during that.

There's a sense of triumph. A sense of choosing what beliefs to hold, what to die over, and when to let go. The story goes through a whole series of concepts and all of them are incredibly heavy. It's almost MGS-like in the concepts it explores, which was another reason I was so into from the beginning.

This game is special. It's unique in ways I've not seen video games before. And it's my game of the year. Easy.

Honorable mentions:

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

The Lost Legacy was sort of a weird game. I criticized Uncharted 4 for seeming so deathly serious and losing a little bit of that exciting, rip roaring adventurous tone of the first 3. This time the colors were a little muted, the stakes were dire, and everything had to be fucking emotional. It felt like a different game in a way.

The Lost Legacy takes care of this by jumping right back into the spirit of Uncharted. High stakes, deadly bad guys, and some up-top-down-low-too-slow wit to back up the humorous aspects. It really felt like it was a game more in the vein of Uncharted 2 than it did anything related to Uncharted 4 because of this.

I was initially worried about the subject matter because, I mean, Nadine and Chloe? Chloe is cool but is Nadine that dumb butt who backed the wrong horse in Uncharted 4 and then fucked off? Well, turns out my fears were misplaced because the buddy-cop relationship between straight laced Nadine and off-the-wall never-know-what-shes-gonna-do-next Chloe never stops being interesting. And also a surprising cameo appearance by Sam Drake puts the cherry on top to make an interesting dynamic, especially since Nadine imprisoned and tried to have Sam murdered in the previous game.

Kudos to Naughty Dog, they really nailed it.

The Sexy Brutale 

It was a cute game from the start, and a little bit dour and depressing near the end, but I really loved this game. I was hooked from the moment I saw it but had to wait for my chance to purchase it. I managed to nab it while on sale one day and almost couldn't put it down.

Sure, I'm not sure how to vocalize my opinion on the ending because I feel like it maybe got too weird in a direction that made me uncomfortable, but that's the thing: It doesn't have to care what I wanted. Games can make you uncomfortable. I look back on my past and feel very, very bad about things, and that makes sense. I have deep regrets. So what must someone with such intensely deep regrets think about? How must his mind analyze his wrong doings? How must he deal with moving on with his life, knowing what he did, knowing who he hurt?

I guess in a roundabout way I do understand how I feel about the ending. To a less extreme degree, it makes me deeply uncomfortable because I sympathize with it so much. The kind of sympathy that involves listening to Pink Floyd at 3 in the morning and crying. I've got a lot of regrets, things I wish I could do over, things I wish I never would have done. Unfortunately there's no going back, and seeing that play out in front of me makes me feel, well, feelings that are tough to deal with.

So, fucking great job guys. Your awesome little indie game made me existential.

Horizon Zero Dawn

I spent the entire game trying to unlock that cool sci-fi armor you find earlier on in the game and once I finally unlocked it, it turned out to just be some bullshit weave you apply to your existing armors and you don't get to look like a badass, just be invulnerable. I felt incredibly cheated. But what I did not feel cheated by was the breath taking open world stealth gameplay about a fucking world ravaged by robot dinosaurs. Turns out reliving my Metal Gear REX bossfight fetishes sparked something even deeper inside.

By all accounts Horizon Zero Dawn is a fantastic game and I was quite enraptured by its maybe-not-so-original story, but I thought it was well done and interesting enough to stand out. The world building in this game is incredible. Unfortunately I've yet to play the DLC but I hear it's also incredible.

I did think Aloy was a bit whitebread from time to time, often seeming more akin to a generic "do gooder" protagonist and the sometimes holier-than-thou attitude she exhibited was kind of frustrating sometimes. But aside from that I was fully on board with the game from the very beginning because, as it turns out, it's pretty fucking easy to sell me on the idea of giant robot dinosaurs. Still kinda pissed you can't ride a Thunderjaw though. It would have been number 1 if so.

Here's to next year!

Oh god I hope next year doesn't suck. This year has been such a great year for video games. I don't know what I'd do if they all started sucking again.

My name is Ryan. I like to play video games and Dungeons and Dragons and all kinds of other cool stuff. I also like to write. This is my website, it's nothing special, but I write about topics from time to time that probably make no sense. But if you think they do make sense, then hang around and check out some other articles. My friends call them "blogs" but goddamnit I've got a URL and everything, so they're "articles".


  1. Great list sir, Automata is my goty as well. Cant wait for 2018, the best is yte to come.

    1. Indeed. 2017 was an incredible year. I certainly hope 2018 can keep up! Thanks for the comment. Nier is incredible!